The folks atManplay.com want you to be well informed about the status of gay marriage in the United States. We want to ensure you fully know what to expect when it comes getting your license or perhaps which state might be able to offer full benefits, so why not peruse the gay marriage history in Louisiana? Gay marriage has changed over time and it can no longer be met with any form of legal resistance. The United States has brought about the finally tapped into the progressive atmosphere it boasts to the rest of the world. Kentucky gay marriage is legal due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to define gay marriage as unconstitutional. Kentucky has been under the spotlight recently regarding its stance on gay marriage with the county clerk Kim Davis who upholds her religious beliefs by not issuing marriage licenses to same sex couple. Both the Governor and Attorney General of the state adopted the Supreme Court’s ruling instantly in June 2015. The state itself has had a long history of attempts to adopt same sex marriage, though they were met with many legal hurtles that were setup by state figures as well as many more. Manplay.com gives you a very brief history of Kentucky gay marriage, where some interesting cases eventually lead to the supreme court ruling of 2015.
As far back as 1973, there was a case where two women were denied a marriage license, as the state Court of appeals determined the relationship itself was not in any way a marriage nor could it be. This was further echoed in 1998 when Kentucky determined that gay marriage was unlawful and not in any traditional. Once again, their argument was based on the proposition that marriage was solely between a man and a woman. Many claimed that gay marriage was contrary to public policy. This law and declaration also extended to those same sex couples that were married which meant that their marriage would not be recognized. In 2004, there was a law that a 75% vote in favour. It made this claim: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized". This was a damning feature of the struggle for Kentucky gay marriage. This law was in fact an amendment and was called Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 1.
There were several federal lawsuits that determined that banning Kentucky gay marriage was unethical and not on base with human rights. One of the most prominent cases Bourke V. Beshear, involved a couple who had been married in Canada, but Kentucky did not recognize their marriage. The judge of case, by the name of Heyburn, determined that denying recognition of the couple’s marriage was equivalent to denying the U.S. Constitution’s assurance of equal protection to citizens and residents. However despite this judgement, Heyburn’s decisions were appealed and another lawsuit was formed. Heyburn once again determined that any denial of a marriage license to a gay couple or denying privileges that heterosexual couples enjoy was unconstitutional and did not provide the equal protection that the U.S. Constitution guarantees.
The following year, in 2015, cases that included the ones we just discussed went to the supreme court. This decision was thanks to the dissenting Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey who made the case be reviewed by the supreme court. The Supreme Court ruled that banning same sex marriage was illegal and all state jurisdictions will comply with the ruling. However despite the Supreme Court’s decisions, three counties have held back from issuing marriage licenses and this is based on a part of the constitution that upholds religious freedom. Many clerks refuse to issue licenses because it interferes with their religious beliefs. One of the most infamous cases of this issue is the well documented case of Kim Davis. She made the claim, "under god’s authority" that she could and would not issue a marriage license to a same sex couple. After a filmed instance in which she refused to issue a license to a high power academic and his partner, there was un uproar online and in the media regarding her actions. Some respected her decision based on her religious beliefs. Many more defined her as an example of a problem that plagues many rules regarding those who refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, even though it is in fact the law. Public opinion caused an uproar and Kentucky gay marriage was thrust into spotlight, due to the actions of Kim Davis. Soon after, the district court and appeals court ruled that Kim Davis must issue licenses. She refused and was jailed based on the fact that her actions allowed her to be held in contempt of court. She continued to attempt to defy the supreme court’s ruling from jail and once she was released she made several technical changes to forms that would make things a bureaucratic nightmare. Her son, Nathan Davis, also openly defied the law and made the claim that issuing marriage licenses to gay couples interfered with his religious beliefs. Naturally his mother had a hand in this issue. Other clerks made claims that there were some bureaucratic wrinkles and crinkles that needed to be worked out. However, it was later determined that these clerks were withholding same sex marriage licenses based on their religious beliefs. These clerks were seen at rallies supporting Kim Davis, along with other conservative lobbyists who continued to aim for marriage from a traditional standpoint.
The media firestorm and Kim Davis’ name being synonymous with bizarre, anti-humanitarian and illegal behaviour, she has become a member of the zeitgeist of the time and represents conflicting and ever changing ideas throughout the United States. Religious liberty seems to be an argument that is used throughout much of these cases where clerks attempt to defy the Supreme Court. Many of these public figures aim to use their religious beliefs and religious freedoms to bar people from a simple human right. This is a feature of the constitution however. In March 2013, the state did pass the Religious Freedom Act which needed evidence for policies or laws that infringed on someone’s religious beliefs and this is and was the agreement used by people such as Kim Davis. The Kentucky Family Foundation as well as the Catholic Conference supported the Religious Freedom Act. Many community groups that included civil rights activists and other religious leaders, believed that the Religious Freedom Act would allow many people to have free rein on their choices and would in fact make laws made to combat discrimination, null and void.
Even with these points in mind and the federal law that makes same-sex marriage legal in every state, we might be able to gauge a better understanding of what is taking place regarding the general opinion in the state through seven different polls showing the support that Kentucky gay marriage has: Survey USA determined that only 33% of voters supported gay marriage in Kentucky. Public Policy Polling determined that only 30% of voters supported Kentucky gay marriage. The New York Times poll, issued a release showing that only 38% of Kentucky voters had any interest in supporting gay marriage. 50% opposed it. The Bluegrass poll claimed only 37% of Kentucky residents supported gay marriage. These are high numbers regarding the opposition of voters with an average error margin of 3%, which is low. The average opposition to supporting gay marriage was around 58%. These numbers are not particularly encouraging regarding support in the state of Kentucky. It seems that there are many that oppose same-sex marriage, however often these opposing figures in power are not considering the economic sense that can arise from same sex marriage, as was the case in Maryland. More often than not, gay marriage generates revenue for the state and many public figures in power in Kentucky have not made acted on these claims and understood the potential that gay couples can have for the economy.
Overall, it is clear that Kentucky has had a tough relationship with gay marriage. Its attempts to block people’s reasonable requests to be granted similar or the same privileges were denied. Then constitutional amendments enforced a policy that did not allow for gay marriage in the state. However through careful legal deliberation and ethical attempts at equality, lawmakers in Kentucky have managed to bring Kentucky gay marriage into the spotlight. The Kim Davis story proved to bring about polarizing support with many defending and attacking her actions. Kentucky might have had some unwanted attention due to Davis, but some of the cases tried in the appeals court and circuit court, were taken to the Supreme Court. Kentucky was one of the one stepping stones for gay marriage being legalized and recognized in the United States. This makes it have a unique place in the history of gay rights.
If you’re looking for some information regarding equality rights in the state or are simply looking for some gay friendly state landmarks, why not take a look at a few the suggestions we have listed below: